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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33325
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My brother is facing a prison

Customer Question

My brother is facing a prison sentence and the mother of his child is deemed unfit to care for there son, and baby is one and has been placed in temporary foster care, our mothers wants to be the child legal guardian - so we can act in place of my brother if goes to prison. What is the legal processes that we should look in to
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Who has the child lived with until now?
when was the child place din Foster Care?
What contact has the grandmother has with the child and why did social services not consider her as a possible carer?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has lived with his mother officially but my brother is known to have lived there, the baby spends most weekends at my mothers

He was first placed in foster care 2 weeks ago

My grandmother has cared for him most weekends - the child's mother picked the parents of her new partner to care for the child as she lied to social services and said they were registered foster carers (they used to be 3 years ago).

My brother wasn't at the meeting and therefore they said the child's mothers had the choice, they didn't check they were registered and the child was place there temporary - however since the meeting on Friday which we all attended they have said Levi is to stay in foster care they are now looking to move him as it has come to light that foster carers aren't registered - we have been told we have to be registered to be the carers.

Thankyou - this is the 2nd question I have with you

Emma

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
they have lied.
In fact they are under a duty to place a child with family members if it is at all possible and safe to do so
They do need to do a basic assessment to ensure that the child is safe - but in fact there is no reason why your brother should not give them notice that he will in fact collect his child on tuesday - as he is legally entitled to do.
The LA would then either have to start Care Proceedings and explain to the court why they have not assessed your mother - or agree to the move to grandma.
You can read more about the cases that set out the fact that they HAVE to consider it first here
http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed116384
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok we thought there had been a oversight of his rights -

we intend for my brother to write the letter and to confirm we are going to remove the child and place him back in the custody of our family.

As long as we give the notice in writing and allow social services into the property to assess the child is okay are there anyway this could jeopardise us have full custody later

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thank you when we go collect the baby on Tuesday how do we ensure we are legally correct, should we take a police officer? what is the correct procedure?

Are there any laws we should quote in the letter or key phases we need to make sure are included?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your brother needs to give them written notice in the morning and make it plain that he will be placing the child in the care of his mother
Social Services will then either have to negotiate with him or take the matter to court.
I do not expect you to have to actually collect the child at all - but if you do the father and one other shoudl go.
The father is entitled to free legal advice on the matter and it could be wise for him to seek face to face help tomorrow
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We are going to see a solicitor in the morning, and also are drafting the letter now.

We are worried that if we go to the offices and hand the letter over - how can we ensure they will acknowledge receipt as we are worried they may ignore the letter (we don't want to waste time with 'signed for' via the post

thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Ask to speak to the duty social worker and ask for a receipt for the letter
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you

Should he just hand the letter in get the receipt and go, or wait to discuss the details around collecting his son?

Thanks again

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Hand it in and leave.
Again I repeat - I doubt he will actually be collecting the child.
Indeed there is a risk that the matter will go straight to court for a Care Order
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok we want the child to be placed at our mums house so how is this letter going to aid that?

Please be clearer when you state 'you doubt the he will be collecting the child' as we do not understand this comment

Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
At the moment the child is on care the basis that his mother has voluntarily agreed this Under Section 20.
That agreement can be withdrawn by either parent at any time.
The position is complicated by the fact that the child will not be coming into the care of the father due to his expected incarceration
On receiving the letter Social Services has two choices.
They can issue an urgent application to the court for a Care Order.
Whilst it is likely to be granted your brother will be able to argue that the child should be placed with his mother as soon as an assessment can be done.
Their other option is to say that they will continue the Section 20 and will place the child with the grand mother for the time being.
It is highly unlikely that the matter will actually reach the point of your son fetching the child - either there will be an agreement that the child will move to live with grandma in a planned move: or there will have been court proceedings
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you that is much clearer thanks again

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome I hope all goes well
Claee
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Clare, I have signed up for this service, does it terminate after one month or do I need to cancel.


I do have another question on the totally different matter


Thank you

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